Essex Fire Station Addition Open To Public Sunday, March 12

The Essex Fire Protection District has completed construction, outside and inside, on its new fire station building, an addition to the station on Main Street in downtown Essex. An open house will be held at the new structure from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, March 12.
The new station, located just north of the existing station which will also continue to be in use, includes three truck bays, a new radio room, a training room, offices for the Chief, Assistant Chief, EMS Coordinator, District Secretary and Officers. There is also a lounge area and kitchen. The old station has six truck bays, smaller meeting room, district office and radio room.
“This addition has been discussed for 20 years,” Chief Austin Vining told The Paper last week. “It’s been in the picture for quite a while.” As part of the reminder of how long it took, the radio room has been dedicated to the late George Dvorak, who died in 2015 after years of service to the district. The structure was finished in November of last year, but the interior work was not done until March, Vining said. The building cost the district taxpayers $766,475. However, there will be no increase in the tax rate to pay for it, much of which was paid out of district funds, with the rest to be paid with a loan.
There are 18 volunteer fire and EMS people in the department, which stretches one mile into Will County to the north, south to Route 17, east to 12000 W Road and west to 19000 West Road. Vining said at the open house, not only will visitors be able to tour the new facility, but will also receive information about the importance of checking smoke alarm batteries once a year.